New Plymouth day 2

Despite weather predictions for the first meet-up for the LTC 2020 Roadtour we had a blast in the carpark of a cafe in New Plymouth!

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Hadden Paddon Electric Rally Car

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Transport Treehouse - a must watch podcast

Those of the EV community who have had the pleasure of meeting Chelsea Sexton, world famous EV advocate, will hopefully have seen/heard a new podcast series, called Transport Treehouse, in which Chelsea and her co-host Russell Frost interview EV luminaries on Zoom! So very Covid-19 and very watchable!

Chelsea of course has a resume in all things EV as long as your arm, going back to the days she worked on the EV1 at GM last century (!), and the Trust has always been so very grateful for her support of our RoadTrips over the years. Her attendance on RoadTrips assisted by the fact that she loves NZ and our plucky attempts to change the driving habits of our Team of 5 million!

The 2019 RoadTrip was characterised by the latest EECA and BNZT branded polo shirts and caps in a vibrant tangerine colour!  So when you watch these podcasts please note that Russell has been known to sport one of these very shirts, courtesy of Chelsea! 

transport treehouse

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Electric cars and their CO2 lifetime emissions

A UK based organisation has looked at the CO2 emissions of EVs.

Scientists from the universities of Exeter, Nijmegen and Cambridge conducted lifecycle assessments of both the electric-vehicle market and household heating, two of the biggest markets for electric power draw, which showed that even where electricity generation still involves substantial amounts of fossil fuels, there was a CO2 saving over conventional cars and fossil-fuel heating. Their findings were published in the journal Nature Sustainability.

They found that in 53 out of 59 regions, comprising 95% of the world, electric vehicles and domestic-heat pumps generate less carbon dioxide than fossil fuel-powered cars or boilers. The only exceptions are heavily coal-dependent countries such as Poland.

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Formula E Resumes Racing

Templehopft Airport, Berlin

Season Six of ABB FIA Formula E racing was thrown into shambles earlier this year with the global lockdown due to COVID-19. 

Racing continued in a virtual eRacing format, but those results will not form part of the championship results table. Even so, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and Audi Sport Abt Schlaefer took the races very seriously as discovered by veteran German driver Daniel Abt, who was first fined by FIA and then suspended by the Audi team for faking it, ie: allowing a ringer gamer to race on his behalf (sim racer Lorenz Hoerzing.) 

Abt's FE career is now over despite him previously competing in every Formula E race to date. To some, it seems too big a punishment considering the eRaces were just for fun. Audi continues the season with just one driver on the team: Brazilian, Lucas di Grassi.

Daniel Abt, Suspended for cheating during eSports race. image: Yahoo Sports

Formula E announced today that the season will continue from August with FIA approving six live races over nine days at Templehopf Airport in Berlin.

 

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BMW Invests in Carbon Net Zero Gasoline

"The average car stays on the road for over eight years; meaning that even if the whole world switched to buying 100% electric cars tomorrow, it would still take almost a decade for today's internal-combustion engines to be off the road," Greg Smithies, partner at BMW i Ventures, said in a statement.
 
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UNSW Electric Vehicle Survey

UNSW EV Survey link 

Image: Shutterstock

The University of New South Wales (UNSW), one of Australia's leading research and teaching universities, is undertaking a survey, on Electric Vehicles, lead by Gail Broadbent and Professor Graciela Metternicht. In particular they want to use New Zealand as a case study to find out what has driven our EV sales and build on their previous research.

The survey target is 600 respondents, and Gail Broadbent has asked the Better NZ Trust to help them find participants. 

New Zealand currently has a national light passenger fleet of some 20,000 EVs. This compares to Australia who are lagging behind at approx 16,000 electric vehicles.

In 2019, 6971 light electric vehicles were brought into New Zealand and registered for the first time. That may seem close to Australia’s tally (6,718 in 2019), but in a population of less than 5 million compared to Australia’s population of over 25 million.

Last year, Australian Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten revealed his party’s plan to have half of the country's new cars sold in 2030 be electric vehicles. With a national fleet of 14.3 million vehicles, they (on a normal year) would expect in excess of 1.15 million new car registrations. Shorten's plans for 50% of this number is therefore significant in terms of climate change and achievability.

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What We Do

It's EV promotion season and we've just had a huge weekend of volunteer-led EVents. Many many EV owners have gone ahead and purchased an EV after first hearing about them at one of our events.  We don't always publicly report on our events afterwards because we have so many every month and they are all largely successful. But our volunteers went to such great lengths under the hot sun this past weekend, that we are posting a montage of what took place below.

So what do we do? And what is the Better NZ Trust all about?

image: Trustee, Sigurd Magnusson, takes members of the public for an EV experience ride

The Better NZ Trust promotes the uptake of Electric Vehicles in NZ, particularly in the light passenger and light commercial fleets. We largely do this by holding events where people can look at, learn about, touch and sit in actual electric vehicles. We hand out information pamphlets, dispel myths and answer questions from the point of view of real EV Owners, all without any sales pressure.  Our display vehicles are provided by volunteers, EV-expert car dealers, and commercial fleets who have made the switch to electric.  If you own an EV, you can get involved. Simply ask on your local EV Owners group, or send an email to info@betternz.org.


The New Zealand Electric Light Fleet is expected to reach 20,000 before the end of March


We've been promoting EVs using our brand "#LeadingTheCharge" since 2015, and are officially sponsored by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to pass their informative pamphlets out to the public.

Find our Event Calendar for up and coming EVents at: https://www.leadingthecharge.org.nz/calendar 

Our next major EVent is at Frankton Thunder on April 5th 2020.

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FIA Formula E 2020 News: Race 3 Results

SPOILER WARNING: Results are contained in this blog

I can’t help feeling flat and disappointed in the third race of Formula E’s sixth season in Santiago. It was a scrappy race with 24 drivers on the grid and seven drivers not finishing.

New Zealander Mitch Evans in pole position held a confident lead right through to the 25th minute. But on advice from his team concerned about the car's temperature and energy remaining, he was encouraged to slow a bit. In addition, an unusual strategy, using both his 25 kW power-ups in the first 15 minutes, was something he would later regret.

 

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Alsco Leads The Way

Alsco, formerly NZTS, is a laundry business with a long history in NZ. Yesterday it launched the first long haul EV road freighter in NZ to a crowd of approx 170 people at Eden Park in Auckland.

I went along to the launch wondering why this was a particularly important moment, when EV Heavy Transport already exists. To name a few local examples: the WEL Networks lines truck, the Waste Management rubbish trucks, Container Co's truck and trailer unit operating in Penrose.

Yes, it is a long haul road freighter, which is indeed new in NZ, but it is to be utilised on Alsco's shortest heavy distribution route—some 284 kilometres.  So what was this all about?   I was soon to be impressed.

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